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5 Tips for Squeezing a Workout into Your Busy Schedule

Published in: Wellness

Regular physical activity has a bounty of benefits. Controlling weight, battling health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure, boosting energy and improving mood — working out does it all, according to the Mayo Clinic.

You understand all that. You eat right, take an effective, time-released multi-vitamin and prioritize your health. But you just can't seem to find time to squeeze in that workout.

If that sounds familiar, don't despair. You're certainly not alone. No matter how busy you are with work, family, friends, travel and other obligations, these five tips can help you make time for fitness and work toward your wellness goals. Believe it, your Future Self will thank you for taking the time!

Skip the Snooze Button

Sometimes tackling that workout early in the day requires getting up a little earlier. You don't have to sacrifice your zzz's to make it happen. Instead, reset your sleep schedule to go to bed earlier and wake 30 to 90 minutes earlier — depending on your workout goals — so you can squeeze in a good workout before heading out for the day. Fitness Magazine suggests wearing your workout clothing to bed to save even more time.  

Workout on Your Way to Work

Need to prioritize sleep? Skip getting up earlier than normal, and change the way you go to work instead. Rather than passive modes like driving or riding the bus or train, maybe you could transform your daily commute into your workout time. Walk, jog or bike your way to work or to the train station to combine your transportation needs with your daily fitness session.

Choose Workouts That Work for You

You don't need to devote a whole hour to exercising. In fact, you can get a very effective workout in as little as seven minutes. The important thing is finding something that you enjoy and can fit into your day. There are plenty of body weight exercises, workout apps and desk exercises to choose from.

Have less than 10 minutes? Try the "Scientific 7-Minute Workout" published in The New York Times. Do the following 12 exercises for 30 seconds each (fitting as many reps in as you can), with 10 seconds of rest in between:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Wall sit
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Stepping up on a chair
  • Squats
  • Triceps dips
  • Plank
  • High-knee running in place
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups with rotation
  • Side planks

Research Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Travel can derail even the most devoted fitness enthusiast. But when you have an arsenal of workouts you can do from work, your hotel room, the pool — your reasons to skip exercise disappear. Some ideas from Greatist include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Tabata training, body weight exercises and walking/running (you can even do this one with the kids).

Multitask Like a Boss

Only have time to hop on the treadmill? Why not use the time you're walking or jogging to also get your upper body workout in? Grab some light dumbbells and do one minute each of triceps extensions, shoulder presses, standing triceps kickbacks, front and side laterals and biceps curls. You get a quick full body workout by performing these common workouts at the same time.